Hair and feathers as indicator of internal contamination of 210Po and 210Pb

Elis Holm (Editor), Justin Gwynn, Agata Zaborska, Torbjörn Gäfvert, Per Roos, Fredrik Henricsson

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    The activities of the NKS-B HAIRPOL project is summarised in this report. The objective was to investigate if hair and feathers were suitable matrices for the estimation of the intake of 210Po. Human hair from people of different sex and age was analysed for 210Po showing concentrations between 0.4 to 11 Bq/kg dry weight. Samples from horses, mane, fur and tail showed concentration from 6 to 17 Bq/kg with no significant difference between the different sample types. Musk ox from Greenland showed much higher concentrations since the animal has to graze a large surface. In fur the concentration was 260 Bq/kg. A considerable fraction of the total 210Po in this animal is contained in the hair. Also different organs were analysed and the highest concentration was found in kidney, 2 700 Bq/kg. The 210Pb concentration in hair was estimated to about 20 Bq/kg. Three different seabirds from Svalbard were analysed. Feathers from all three seabird species show increasing activity concentrations of 210Po and 210Pb from the base to the tip of the feather, but it was difficult to relate feather concentrations to muscle concentrations due to a number of complicating factors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    Number of pages28
    ISBN (Print)978-87-7893-287-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • 210Po
    • 210Pb
    • Humans
    • Hair
    • Horse
    • Fur
    • Musk ox
    • Seabirds
    • Feathers


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